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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
In Memories in the Smoke: Book Two of the Mallox Series by Lisa Burkett, a tragic loss triggers a young psychologist’s childhood trauma. Keely Morgan is a psychologist working with Mallox Consulting, a one-of-a-kind organization that provides women who are in abusive relationships with psychological and security services. After one year working with the organization, Keely feels at home amongst her colleagues. As she is trying to recover from the physical and psychological violence she faced in their last case, she experiences a personal tragic loss that awakens her deep-rooted trauma from events in her childhood. While trying to heal from the loss, she uncovers the secrets related to the tragic events in her childhood. The more she learns, the more she feels betrayed by her closest family and friends.
In Memories in the Smoke, Lisa Burkett’s rich, descriptive writing brings out Keely’s emotions in each chapter. When reading, I felt Keely’s pain as she struggled to make sense of everything that was happening to her and her disillusionment when she learned so much had been hidden from her. The work skillfully explores the complexity of its characters and the circumstances they find themselves in. There is no specific antagonist in the book. Instead, the main characters beautifully illustrate human nature, including the difficult experiences that people go through and the challenging decisions they have to make to protect those that they love. Lisa Burkett’s Memories in the Smoke is an immersive novel that explores themes related to relationships, trauma, loss, depression, and recovery.